Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jim Justice, company fined over environmental violations

(AP) — Billionaire Jim Justice and a company he owns will pay a $220,000 fine to settle a lawsuit by federal and state regulators over environmental violations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement Thursday with Justice and James C. Justice Companies Inc. involving the construction of 20 dams along a creek and its tributary in Monroe County.

The EPA says the construction of earthen, cement and stone dams along the trout stream caused unauthorized discharges that reduced water quality, reshaped the stream, changed water flow, disrupted fish passage and caused sediment buildup.

The settlement requires the area's restoration.

The EPA says contractor High Mountain Living LLC will pay a $125,000 penalty.

Justice has developed a 15,000-acre hunting and fishing preserve in Monroe County. He's running for governor next year.